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Relaxation Response

The Relaxation Response:

  • Relaxation Response (RR) was developed by Dr. Herbert Benson, Director of the Benson-Henry Institute at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, who popularized it in his 1975 book, The Relaxation Response.
  • Practicing RR results in deep relaxation, decreased oxygen consumption, relaxed muscles, and slower breathing and heart rate.
  • Physiologically, practicing RR leads to increased nitric oxide levels, lower blood pressure, and genomic changes associated with energy (mitochondrial) metabolism, inflammation, insulin secretion, and telomere maintenance.
  • Clinically, practicing the RR can reduce addictive cravings; anxiety; chronic pain; depression; insomnia; pain; and stress.
  • Practicing RR can help you “be here now” more consistently.

The Center for Integrative Health and Wellness offers the following relaxation resources at no cost.
(To download these MP3 files, right click and select “Save Link As.”)


Relaxation Response – 5 Minutes

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
In a hurry? This 5 minute guided practice will give you a quick taste of the proven benefits of the Relaxation Response.

​​Relaxation Response – 10 Minutes

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This guided practice will help you move more fully into the proven benefits of practicing the Relaxation Response. If all you have is 10 minutes twice a day, this is a great way to help improve your effectiveness and build resilience.

​​Relaxation Response – 20 Minutes

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
Optimal outcomes are associated with regular practice of 20 minutes daily. You can get it all in one simple session, boosting your resilience, enhancing mental clarity, and building emotional intelligence, all while decreasing inflammation, pain, and stress.